The efforts of the Rainy River Valley Safety Coalition and its partners in education and law enforcement already have proven to be well worthwhile, RRVSC reps Grace Silander and Dorothy Poperechny told the annual meeting of the Rainy River District Municipal Association on Saturday in Stratton.
The key to its success, said Silander, lies in getting the message out as soon as possible.
“We started the D.A.R.E. [Drug Abuse Resistance Education] in 1995 with a visible OPP presence in our schools,” she said. “We are the only D.A.R.E. program in Canada that is getting into the high schools.”
In addition to D.A.R.E., the safety coalition supports a program called “RiskWatch,” which teachers young people to recognize and avoid potentially-dangerous behaviour and situations.
Silander said that program, which began in 1999 with 26 teachers and 39 classrooms, has since tripled. And the rewards will be reaped for years to come in the form of fewer injury claims and illnesses.
“When you start at such an early level, by the time they reach the workforce, they will already be thinking safety,” noted Silander. “The results are totally positive.”